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Hebrew University
HUJ Daphna Golan-Agnon Accused by Students of being Biased and Aggressive

 

22.05.19

Editorial Note

 

In March 2019, IAM was contacted by an international student who studies at the International School of the Hebrew University. The student claimed an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus. The student also felt been treated differently and discriminated against, for being visually Jewish. But the student was unable to provide IAM with any written material to prove this case. In general, IAM is cautious when approached by students who may be unhappy with their grades only to blame the institution for political bias.

 

A few days ago, the media reported a complaint by students from the same International School at the Hebrew University, titled "Hebrew University’s International Graduate Professor Spouts Anti-Israel Rhetoric," as well as "Hebrew U. Prof Accused of ‘Systematic Misinformation,’ Political Bias." This time the student provided proof, including a print-screen of an email arriving from Prof. Daphna Golan, who teaches this class, saying: “I am not sure why you are studying in my course – but both of your handouts are disgraceful... You are a student whose presence in class is very disturbing to the whole group and your remarks are very unpleasant. I am sorry I had to read your unpleasant and not intelligent papers. You got zero on both.”  The print-screen shows this email was also sent to the program director Rula Abu Zayyad. 


The media also interviewed another student from this class who said in response about Golan, that “The way she had attacked him [the student] was not okay... everyone in class was upset by the way she spoke to him.” The friend from class added that the assigned paper of this student was actually professional. “You could tell that the professor was very biased and aggressive to people whose positions weren’t the same as hers.”

 

A perusal at the syllabus of Golan's course "The Role of NGOs in Promoting Human Rights and Transitional Justice" reveals a one-sided picture and excess of activism. Students learn "the importance of the Nakba for Israelis and Palestinians." Golan’s reading assignment presents the Palestinian narrative alone and refers to Palestinian and Israeli NGOs protecting Palestinians rights.  There is no effort to include the Israeli point of view.  

 

Hebrew University is failing its duty to promote a more balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is especially regrettable because many American universities have taken steps to curtail the one-sided presentations driven by pro-Palestinian activists on campus. 

 

Also, with regards to discrimination, Hebrew University should seriously look into all these cases by speaking to all the students participating in Golan's class. It should re-evaluate the student's assigned paper by an external examiner in order to determine whether the failing grade was a political bias on Golan's part. Whether it is or isn't, her use of language aimed at this or other students is unacceptable. 

 

IAM will report in due course on further development of this case.





Hebrew University’s International Graduate Professor Spouts Anti-Israel Rhetoric
By David Israel -  15 Iyyar 5779 – May 20, 2019 0  

Newly released recordings from Hebrew University’s international graduate program in human rights reveal how international students are subjected to extreme anti-Israel content, Im Tirtzu revealed on Monday.

In recordings obtained from a course given by senior professor Daphna Golan, co-founder of B’Tselem, she can be heard introducing an array of anti-Israel guest speakers to the students. Among those guest speakers was a representative of the NGO Zochrot—promoting the return of the decedants of 1948 Arab refugees to Israel—who told the class that “most of Israeli society is going more and more in the fascist direction.”

Another speaker, who spoke to the class during a tour of eastern Jerusalem that was arranged by Golan with the anti-Israel NGO Emek Shaveh, said that Israel is arresting and “torturing” Arab children on a “daily basis.”

During another class in which Golan brought the students to the abandoned Arab village of Lifta, the tour guide advocated for the BDS movement.

Lara Alqasem, a former member of the pro-BDS group “Students for Justice in Palestine,” was a student in Hebrew U’s international graduate program. Alqasem was slated for deportation over her anti-Israel advocacy, but was finally permitted to stay by Israel’s high court.

Prof. Golan is known for penalizing students who disagree with her viewpoint, according to Im Tirtzu. In a reflection paper written by a student in response to the class’ tour to Lifta, in which the student disagreed with the guide’s support for BDS, Golan gave the student a zero mark and called his paper “disgraceful” and “unintelligent.”

“I am not sure why you are studying in my course – but both your handouts are disgraceful,” read the email sent to the student by Golan. “You are a student whose presence in class is very disturbing to the whole group and your remarks are very unpleasant. I am sorry I had to read your unpleasant and not intelligent papers,” wrote Golan.

Panteleimon Papadopoulos, a foreign student from Greece who was enrolled in the course, told Im Tirtzu that Golan “created a hostile image of this country which does not correspond to reality.”

“Is it the role of Hebrew University to create a hostile and inaccurate image of Israel, for students to come to the conclusion that this is a state that is heavily discriminatory, and to be preached to by her guest speakers that this is a fascist state?” Papadopoulos wondered.

Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Golan provided her class with misinformation and silenced students who challenged her views.

“You could tell that the professor was very biased and aggressive against people whose positions weren’t the same as hers. She was too aggressive and too overpowering, providing us with fake facts,” the student said.

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu which obtained the recordings, said that the Hebrew University is undergoing a “moral and ethical crisis.”

“It is disgraceful that Hebrew University, which is supposed to be a beacon of academic light, has become a political incubator of anti-Zionist professors who devote their lives to attacking the State of Israel,” said Peleg.

“Who would have thought that students coming from abroad to study in Israel would be subjected to hateful lectures against Israel from professors who earn their living at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer. The University must immediately work to implement the academic code of ethics and to root out this severe phenomenon of academic politicization,” Peleg said.




HEBREW U. PROF ACCUSED OF ‘SYSTEMATIC MISINFORMATION,’ POLITICAL BIAS
External lecturers labeled Israel a ‘fascist’ state, while Prof. Golan described the work of a student who disagreed with her narrative ‘unpleasant and unintelligent’
BY JEREMY SHARON   MAY 21, 2019 05:09  
 

Foreign students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School have complained of “systematic misinformation” in a class for a master’s degree in law, and of comments by guest speakers labeling Israel as a “fascist” country.

Several students have complained that the course was highly politicized, that they were subjected to “systematic misinformation” and that some of them were unfairly penalized for their political views, which ran counter to the narrative presented by guest lecturers and the head of the course, Prof. Daphna Golan.


One of the greatest concerns for Panteleimon Papadopoulos, 26, a foreign student at the school, was that he felt he could not rely on the factual accuracy of what Golan or other speakers and lecturers told the class. He noted that on one occasion, Golan – a co-founder of B’Tselem – was discussing Israeli policy in east Jerusalem, and said that the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya paid the highest rate of municipal taxes in the city, despite being one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital.


Papadopoulos – originally from Greece and who obtained a bachelor’s degree in law from Sorbonne University in Paris – said that he found this comment hard to believe, so he looked at municipality documents and discovered that the municipal tax in Issawiya is the second lowest rate in the city.


In another incident, during a tour in Silwan with the Emek Shaveh organization, a Palestinian community activist who spoke to the class said that Palestinian residents of the neighborhood are not entitled to compensation for their homes if land is requisitioned by the state. Only when pressed by Papadopoulos did the activist eventually concede that compensation is available, but said that accepting it would be tantamount to “accepting the occupation,” and that it therefore cannot be considered a viable option.


In a separate incident, an activist for the Zochrot organization – which advocates for the return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel and a single, non-Zionist state for Israelis and Palestinians – addressed the class. During his lecture, he stated that “Most of Israeli society is going more and more to the fascist direction” and that “The right-wing Israeli parties and the government of Israel are fascist.”

Perhaps more worrying was Golan’s attitude to students who did not accept the narrative she and other speakers presented of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In one prominent incident during the course, a student challenged the narrative presented by a Palestinian tour guide during a tour of Lifta, a Palestinian village abandoned during Israel’s War of Independence. The class was requested to submit two “reflection papers” on the tour, but the student in question, who did not want to be identified, received a zero because of his perspective on the tour and the conflict.

“I am not sure why you are studying in my course – but both of your handouts are disgraceful,” Golan wrote in an email to the student. “I am sorry I had to read your unpleasant and unintelligent papers. You got zero on both.”

Another student, who also wished to remain anonymous, corroborated the treatment this first student received, saying that “The way she [Golan] had attacked him was not okay,” that “everyone in class was upset by the way she spoke to him” and that his paper, which she had read, was professional while Golan’s response was not. She said Palestinian students who were studying in the course would sometimes contradict the narrative asserted by Golan, who would silence them as well if what they said did not comport with her perspective.

“You could tell that the professor was very biased and aggressive to people whose positions weren’t the same as hers,” said the student, who described herself as “not Jewish, Israeli or Palestinian.”

She also stated that she would write her essays and papers for the class in a neutral way, or even in a manner with which she did not actually agree, because she was worried how Golan would grade her papers.

She added that Golan shut down students who challenged her narrative, or that of guest speakers, and made many of the other students uncomfortable.

“After the first few months, I didn’t care because I knew we wouldn’t learn anything, so I just did whatever we needed not to upset her, and also because we knew that what she said would be super-biased and not too factual. She was too aggressive and [overloaded] us with fake facts.”

Papadopoulos corroborated much of this sentiment.

“These incidents created a hostile image of this country which does not correspond to reality,” he said.

“Is it the role of Hebrew University to create a hostile and inaccurate image of Israel for students to come to the conclusion that this is a state that is heavily discriminatory, and to be preached to by her guest speakers that this is a fascist state?

“I was attending a class that instead of informing me about the realities on the ground, Hebrew University and Golan were misinforming me, and I found myself in a situation where I needed to verify the information provided by my Israeli professor to see if it was accurate or inaccurate.”

The Hebrew University said in a statement in response to this report “Prof. Daphna Golan of the Law Faculty has for years taught this course, which arouses debate and thought. The complaints of the students were thoroughly examined by the head of the disciplinary committee for Hebrew University staff, who decided not to file a complaint against Prof. Daphna Golan.”

The statement said that the student who submitted the complaint was informed of this decision and that he was granted the right to appeal within 21 days, but did not do so.

“It is surprising that the student decided not to file an appeal but instead turned to the press. It should be noted that Prof. Golan allowed the student to submit an amended paper, but the student chose not to do so.”

The statement added that Golan had sent an email to her students about her erroneous assertion regarding the Issawiya municipal tax rate that she had said in class.

“The Hebrew University and the Law Faculty take every complaint by students very seriously, and as evidenced in this case, the management of the law faculty decided to adhere to protocol that only a course lecturer give over the content of the course and not external people, in all faculty courses.”

Matan Peleg, CEO of the Im Tirtzu organization that has strongly advocated against academic politicization, said the Hebrew University is undergoing a “moral and ethical crisis.”

“It is disgraceful that Hebrew University, which was supposed to be a beacon of academic light, has become a political incubator of anti-Zionist professors who devote their lives to attacking the State of Israel,” said Peleg.

“Who would’ve thought that students coming from abroad to study in Israel would be subjected to hateful lectures against Israel from professors who earn their living at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer?”

“The University must immediately work to implement the academic code of ethics and to root out this severe phenomenon of academic politicization,” added Peleg. 


 

 ==========================================





http://shnaton.huji.ac.il/index.php/NewSyl/62326/2/2018  
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Syllabus The Role of NGOs in promoting human rights and Transitional Justice - 62326 
עברית 

 

PDF version
Last update 13-09-2017
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: law

Semester: Yearly

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Daphna Golan

Coordinator Email: daphna.golan@mail.huji.ac.il

Coordinator Office Hours:

Teaching Staff: 
Prof Daphna Golan

Course/Module description: 
examining the role of NGO's in promoting human rights and Transitional Justice in our context.

Course/Module aims: 

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 
Students will be able to examine the work of NGO's through learning and through activism.

Course/Module Content: 
22.10.2017 
Introduction 
5.11.2017 
Transitional Justice in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 
19.1. 2017 
NGO’s 
3.12.2017 
The Use of Legal Mechanism 
7.1.2018 
The Dissemination of Information 
21.1.2018 
Palestinian NGO’s in the West Bank 
Vacation 
18.3.2018 
Palestinian NGO’s in Israel 
8.4.2018 
The Case of Jerusalem 
22.4.2018 
Gender and Transitional Justice 
6.5.2018 
Tour To Lifta 
3.6.2018 
Unsolved Issues on the Way to Transitional Justice 
17.6.2018 
International Organizations, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Transitional Justice- Tour to OCHA 

Required Reading: 
Semester A: 
1. Introduction 22.10.2017 : 
• Cohen, Stanley (2001). States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering. Cambridge: Polity Press. Pp. ix-xiv (Preface), 1-20 (Chapter 1: The Elementary Forms of Denial). 
2. Transitional Justice in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 5.11.2017: 
• Golan-Agnon, Daphna (2010). Between Human Rights and Hope − What Israelis Might Learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa. International Review of Victimology 17 (1), pp. 31-48. 
• Dudai, Ron (2007). Does any of this Matter? Tranasitional Justice and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Crime, Social Control and Human Rights. Williams Publishing. 
3. NGO’s 19.11.2017: 
• Golan, Daphna and Zvika Orr (2012). Translating Human Rights of the "Enemy": The Case of Israeli NGOs Defending Palestinian Rights. Law & Society Review 46 (4), pp. 781-814. 
4. The Use of Legal Mechanism 3.12.2017: 
• Kretzmer, David (2012). The Law of Belligerent Occupation in the Supreme Court of Israel. International Review of the Red Cross 94 (855), pp. 207-236. 
• Sfard, Michael (2009). The Price of Internal Legal Opposition to Human Rights Abuses. Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (1), pp. 37-50. 
5. The Dissemination of Information7.1.2018: 
• Montell, Jessica (2017). Learning From What Works: Strategic Analysis of the Achievements of the Israel-Palestine Human Rights Community. Human Rights Quarterly 38 (4). Johns Hopkins University Press. 
6. Palestinian NGO’s in the West Bank 21.1.2018: 
• Hammami, R. (2000). Palestinian NGOs since Oslo: From NGO politics to social movements?. Middle East Report, (214), 16-48. 
Semester B 
7. Palestinian NGO’s in Israel 18.3.2018: 
8. The Case of Jerusalem 8.4.2018: 
• Ir- Amim Report (2016). Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Persistent Neglect and Attempted Coercion in the East Jerusalem Education System- Annual Update. 
• Research Report (2016). In the Absence of Justice: Embodiment and the Politics of Dismemberment in Occupied East Jerusalem. SAWASYA 
9. Gender and Transitional Justice 22.4.2018: 
• Hammami, R and Johnson, P (1999). Equality with a Difference: Gender and Citizenship in Transitional Palestine. Soc Polit; 6 (3): 312-343. 
• Kusafuka, Ayumi. "Truth commissions and gender: A South African case study." African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9.2 (2009): 45-67 
10. Tour To Lifta 6.5.2018: 
11. Unsolved Issues on the Way to Transitional Justice 3.6.2018: 
• Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N., 2016. Infiltrated Intimacies: The Case of Palestinian Returnees. Feminist Studies, 42(1), pp.166-193. 
12. International Organizations, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Transitional Justice- a Tour to OCHA+ Summary 17.6.2017 

Course/Module evaluation: 
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Assignments 50 %
Reports 40 %

Additional information: 
 
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation. 
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.
Print

Syllabus
The Role of NGOs in promoting human rights and Transitional Justice - 62326
Last update 30-08-2018
HU Credits: 2
Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)
Responsible Department: Law
Academic year: 0
Semester: 1st Semester
Teaching Languages: English
Campus: Mt. Scopus
Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Daphna Golan
Coordinator Email: daphna.golan@mail.huji.ac.il
Coordinator Office Hours: Thursday, 14:00-15:00, Law School, room 418, or by appointment
Teaching Staff:
page 1 / 4
Prof Daphna Golan
Course/Module description:
The Course aims to study transitional justice and reconciliation through local and
international NGO’s. The course includes two field trips, we will focus on the
discourse and activity of human rights organizations as well as NGO’s that deal
with transitional justice. The importance of Jerusalem will be discussed.
Course/Module aims:
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Students will be able to examine the work of NGO's through learning and through activism.
Attendance requirements(%): 100%
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: feminist pedagogy
Course/Module Content:
What is transitional justice and reconciliation
Transitional Justice and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The importance of the Nakba for Israelis and Palestinians
The Role of International Organizations
Israeli and Palestinian NGO’s
The Use of legal mechanism
The case of Jerusalem
Gender and transitional justice
The human rights movement: part of the problem?
page 2 / 4
Required Reading:
• Golan-Agnon, Daphna (2010). Between Human Rights and Hope What Israelis Might Learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa. International Review of Victimology 17 (1), pp. 31-48.
• Peled, Y., & Rouhana, N. N. (2004). Transitional Justice and the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees. Theoretical Inquiries in Law.
• Golan, D. Orr. Z. Ershied. S. (2013). Lifta and the Regime of Forgetting: Memory Work and Conservation. Jerusalem Quarterly, 45, 69-81.
• Ram, U. (2009). Ways of forgetting: Israel and the obliterated memory of the Palestinian Nakba. Journal of Historical Sociology, 22(3), 366-395.
• Golan, Daphna and Zvika Orr (2012). Translating Human Rights of the "Enemy": The Case of Israeli NGOs Defending Palestinian Rights. Law & Society Review 46 (4), pp. 781-814.
• Orr, Z., & Golan, D. (2014). Human rights NGOs in Israel: collective memory and denial. The International Journal of Human Rights, 18(1), 68-93.
• Kretzmer, David (2012). The Law of Belligerent Occupation in the Supreme Court of Israel. International Review of the Red Cross 94 (855), pp. 207-236.
• Sfard, Michael (2009). The Price of Internal Legal Opposition to Human Rights Abuses. Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (1), pp. 37-50.
• Ir- Amim Report (2016). Between the East Jerusalem Education System- Annual Update.
• Research Report (2016). In the Absence of Justice: Embodiment and the Politics of Dismemberment in Occupied East Jerusalem. SAWASYA
• Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla. Women's contributions to South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission. New York: Hunt Alternatives Fund, 2005
• Hammami, R and Johnson, P (1999). Equality with a Difference: Gender and Citizenship in Transitional Palestine. Soc Polit; 6 (3): 312-343.
• McKay, Susan. "Gender justice and reconciliation." Women's Studies International Forum 23.5 (2000): 561-570
• Graybill, Lyn. "The contribution of the truth and reconciliation commission toward the promotion of women's rights in south africa." Women's studies international
forum 24.1 (2001): 1-10
• Goldblatt, Beth and Sheila Meintjes. Gender and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ,1996
• Kennedy, David (2004). The Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Pp. 3-35 (Chapter 1: The
International Human Rights Movement: Part of the Problem?).
Course/Module evaluation:
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Project work 40 %
Assignments 50 %
Additional information:
page 4 / 4


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